Saturday, 23 July 2011

Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust

By Scott Willis

Preparing for BRCT's Annual General Meeting (I know, most people like
to avoid them) has been a fascinating experience for the Trust (the
AGM was held on 27 July). Reflecting on a busy past 12 months is a
little like sitting back with a cup of tea and reviewing a good job.
Yes, there could always have been improvements here or there, but
overall it has been satisfying to see the consolidation that has
occurred, the transition to a new office and the range of successful
projects.
Highlights of the past 12 months have to be:
1). The fantastic progress on developing a wind cluster for Blueskin
Bay, and associated with that all the new opportunities opening up
around 'Blueskin Power' as a community energy project with many
clean-technologies.
2). Waitati Open Orchards (a branch of the Weggies) is thriving, while
BRCT is happy to see the Blueskin Bays Edible Gardens work has now
become a longer term funded position at Waitati School with 'World
Wide Fund for Nature' support, ensuring a deepening of the
enviroschool programme, (all other Weggie activities are also in good
heart).
3). Get-The-Train had a successful 'Car Free Day' in 2010 and has
maintained its lobbying role.
4). Blueskin Low Oil Commuting had a great launch on the Global Day of
Action on Climate Change (10/10/10) last year and has become a quiet
network of bicycle commuters and a lobbying force for the strategic
transport zone of Blueskin Bay.
5). Finally, BRCT was proud to be associated with the development of
the Waitati PTA's "Blueskin Community Directory" in March this year
(have you got your copy yet?).
Most recently, BRCT received notification of funding success for the
Waitati Open Orchards, thanks to the ANZ Staff Foundation. BRCT also
secured a contract from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation
Authority for community engagement, and is anticipating learning the
results of another funding application in support of the energy
project.
A deep winter occasion for BRCT supported groups and friends to get
together will be (as I write) on 30 July, when BRCT patron Jeanette
Fitzsimons is in Waitati for a catch-up visit and to have a look
around all that is going on in our wider Blueskin community. In other
Trust news, Simon Sheppard has stepped down from his role as treasurer
to focus on his university work. BRCT thanks Simon for his valuable
input over the past year and wishes him the best in exams and study.
And BRCT volunteer Justine Molloy, having found cosy BRCT homes for
'the lost files', has now joined the Puketeraki Marae team, leaving
the BRCT office with clear desks and straightforward files (long may
it last!). Thank you Justine for all your help!
Established in 2008, BRCT aims to assist groups and individuals in
Blueskin Bay address the opportunities and vulnerabilities associated
with Climate Change and Peak Oil.
Contact: 03 482 2048.

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